Two of the biggest challenges mobile networks face today are the cost to build and maintain their infrastructure, and increased network complexity as more generations of technology are released.
In Africa, these challenges translate to a lack of coverage across the continent, said Lux Maharaj, the director for Africa sales at Parallel Wireless.
“The [average revenue per user] is low, so any solution needs to be very cost-effective to generate return on the investment,” said Maharaj.
Many Africans in remote areas also still rely on 2G phones, while those in cities with more income use 4G.
“This means that mobile networking solutions for Africa need to support both [generations] and allow cost-effective migration to future cellular technology generations,” said Maharaj.
For this reason, Parallel Wireless offers a software-based OpenRAN that unifies the different mobile networking generations — 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G.
Maharaj said that being software-based means:
- Lower cost to deploy and maintain.
- Simplified management through automation, and
- The ability to upgrade to newer technology generations on the same investment.
“Any other 2G and 3G solutions out there are not cloud-native and are not software upgradable, which means that for any future generation, there will be new investment and new deployment required.”
“With Parallel Wireless OpenRAN, African MNOs can virtualise their architecture – any kind, 2G through to 5G, and even into future technology generations,” Maharaj said. “This will reduce deployment costs and will allow them to bring more coverage across the continent to improve people’s lives.”
During AfricaCom 2019, Parallel Wireless showcased its new OpenRAN innovations. It also announced a partnership with MTN to deploy its OpenRAN technology across MTN’s operations in Africa. More than 5,000 sites will be deployed across the 21 countries where MTN currently operates, connecting previously unconnected areas with 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage.
A video interview with Maharaj is embedded below.
This article was published in partnership with Parallel Wireless.